The viewers just didn’t like Eamonn Holmes, say ITV as broadcaster hits back at presenter’s ‘sly’ slur
The veteran presenter yesterday blasted station bosses in an interview with the Daily Mail’s Weekend magazine, accusing them of being ‘sly’ and hypocritical over his departure amid a diversity drive.
But The Mail on Sunday can reveal that executives carried out extensive analysis which found that his popularity had waned.
Sources also say Holmes fell out of favour with management after casting doubt on media outlets that dismiss false claims linking 5G technology to coronavirus.
According to insiders, both reasons were explained to the 62-year-old’s agent – although Holmes has insisted he received no explanation.
Veteran presenter Eamonn Holmes yesterday blasted ITV bosses in an interview with the Daily Mail’s Weekend magazine, accusing them of being ‘sly’ and hypocritical over his departure amid a diversity drive
Yesterday one insider said: ‘ITV is always looking at what the viewers want, what the people watching the show want.
‘Put it this way, they wanted change, the viewers didn’t want to watch him any more. Things have to change, they evolve and for him to say there was no explanation isn’t true.
‘Maybe Eamonn just didn’t like the reasons given.’
Holmes, who is now a host on GB News, also branded his former This Morning co-star Phillip Schofield as ‘passive aggressive’.
He added of his rival: ‘I don’t go for presenters who think they have special privilege or aura or influence.’
While Schofield yesterday opted to remain silent on the accusation, sources close to him said that he and ITV were left ‘bemused’ when a story appeared in a tabloid newspaper claiming that he and Holly Willoughby had ‘snubbed’ Holmes by failing to contact him following his departure.
It was published in The Sun on Sunday two days after it was confirmed that Holmes was going to GB News.
The Mail on Sunday can reveal that executives carried out extensive analysis which found that his popularity had waned. The findings prompted programme chiefs to axe him from his weekly Friday slot alongside his wife Ruth Langsford replacing them with Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary (pictured together above)
One source commented last night: ‘There is no love lost between Eamonn and Phil, so it is odd that Eamonn would have expected to have any contact.
‘It was more odd that it appeared in a newspaper at a time when Eamonn was publicising his new role at GB News.
‘Things did get bad between the two men, but that all seemed somewhat sly.’
Holmes, who insisted in yesterday’s interview that ‘I’m still at the top of my game’, has previous form when it comes to publicly insulting his co-stars.
In 1997 he told a Sunday newspaper that Anthea Turner, his sidekick on the now-defunct GMTV, was ‘horrid’ and ‘unbearable’, and accused her of acting like ‘Princess Tippy Toes’ off screen.
Holmes later also described Ms Turner as the ‘Queen of PR’, who fought a constant battle for good publicity.
ITV said last night: ‘Eamonn was a key part of the This Morning family for 15 years and we wish him all the very best.’